Merkel approves Turkish request to prosecute German satirist

German Chancellor Merkel confirms Turkish request to prosecute satirist Jan Boehmermann over insult to Turkish President Erdogan

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Updated Apr 16, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that her government examined and confirmed the request from Turkey to prosecute the German satirist, Jan Boehmermann, who recited an obscene poem about the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on television.

"The outcome is that the German government will give the authorisation in the current case," Merkel said, stressing that this was not a decision about the merits of the prosecution's case against Boehmermann.

‘’Constitutional states do not provide cases like this as affairs of government, but of Public Prosecutor’s Department and courts," she added. 

"They are provided to balance personal rights of the aggrieved party and other issues of freedom of speech and artistic expression.’’

Merkel accentuated that not the government, but justice should have ‘’the last word’’ and added that the authorization did not represent Boehmermann’s pretrial.

Boehmermann is known for pushing the boundaries of satire and he attacked President Erdogan’s personality using obscene and abusive language.

ZDF has already removed the video of the poem from its website, saying it did not meet the standards expected of its satire shows.